Life is Rarely Fair

Life is Rarely Fair

Vasu was all thumbs and needles as he tried to make himself a cup of early morning coffee. He was one of those men raised with the belief that he had the primary responsibility of bringing in the flour and butter and his wife among other women folk would take care of baking the bread. 

His marriage was fixed by his parents, and he and his wife ploughed along for close to sixty years, working in tandem raising their two children and felt blessed that they had a girl and a boy to call them their own. Working as a senior clerk in the postal department, they never had much to spend on themselves as he had to send thirty percent of his ‘take home’ to his parents for their own needs.  In the world he came from, children were like investments for parents’ old age and he didn’t think any different.   

The children grew and they married off their modestly educated daughter to a ‘decent boy’ from a family who didn’t demand much by way of dowry. They spent their life’s savings to ensure that their son would go to college and unlike his father; he would end up to be an officer.  The brilliant hardworking boy earned himself a scholarship to study in one of the Ivy Leagues and felt himself growing both physically and emotionally disconnected with his family. As he gained new experiences, he became intellectually distant from his family as he could not understand their thought processes. He felt they didn’t grow proportionately to him. He forgot that it was the education that they gave him after sacrificing their own needs, helped him to grow.   The distance grew wider when he found a girl of his choice and he was happy making his own life far away from the remote Kothagudam, a small town in the state of faraway Telangana. 

Meanwhile, their daughter was expected to fit into her new family like a glove. Any concern or worry she had about her father was met with an immediate frown.  They belonged to the school of thought that it was the son’s duty to take care of his parents and not the married daughter’s. Habits and traditions are entrenched in some more than in some others. In Vasu’s case, his son felt more connected with his wife’s side and was hardly there for him. Who said life is fair? 

Coming back to our Vasu, he could not get used to this new role of a widower.  His coffee used to miraculously appear at his elbow as he immersed himself in his newspaper and hence he pottered quite unsuccessfully in his modest kitchen which was suddenly too big for him trying to make sense of how to make a meal appear or a cup of coffee to brew. 

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